I was 19 and around 6months pregnant.
We didn't have a couch, we didn't have a microwave; Actually, we didn't have much.
We had to put a house together, we had a baby coming, and only a bed, washer, and dryer to our name. Oh, and a diaper genie.
Money was tight, seperation pay was gone, but we hadn't gotten our food allowance yet. We actually had to pawn some of the small electronics we owned, scrounge that $70 and get food.
I was getting WIC, and for a while, we considered Food stamps.
Now, 2years later, we have it together. We have a bit more pay, and though we aren't rolling in it, we're making ends meet. The CPL, Belle, and I live a happy life, with food on the table, a couch, and finally (after 2 years w/o) some cable TV.
With all that the Military DOES provide, many people are completely unaware of what it does NOT provide.
My Husband serves his country, but makes less than $40,000 a year.
Tricare is free, but you have to see THEIR doctors, not your own. You must go through your Primary Care Manager (which changes like the seasons).
Dental is free to Active-duty, but the family must pay an extra $30 a month for dental, and eye EXAMS are free, but lenses and frames? That's all you.
Now, the Economy being as it is these days, People are losing jobs, taking pay cuts, and the cost of living keeps climbing to make up for the money companies need to offset their costs and so on.
The Military has done a decent job giving raises to keep up with the cost of living. The Military is at War. "America is not at war. The USMilitary is at War. America is at the Mall."
Yesterday was Veterans Day, and My Veteran and our friends and family celebrated at Applebee's. Free Meals for Active Duty and Veterans! While it is only one day a year, it shows how much a company appreciates what these Men and Women do for our country. We live in a Military Area, that place was PACKED, and hundreds of free meals were given by a smiling, appreciative staff.
If only the rest of America felt the same.
By that, I mean the Government.
Due to federal deficit (from the war), our USGov't is looking at ways to reduce spending. If you can guess from my long winded (so to speak) speech, they want to reduce spending in the Military (the ones fighting that war).
NOT ONLY do they want to freeze housing allowance and pay increases for 3 years, they also want to implement co-pays and extra costs into our healthcare. They want to cut benefits for veterans. There have already been plans to cut programs available to spouses while their servicemember is deployed, and now the servicemember gets shafted, too.
The Marine Corps is used to hard work, tradition, comitment, and courage- All without shine and sparkle. Marines do not wear Cammies (utility [work] wear) off post. Their dog tags are worn inside of their shirts. And from the moment they enlist, rank is never given, only earned.
Not to put down any other service, that is not my point. But I don't know all that much about traditions in the other branches.
I do know this: Each branch is full of hard working individuals, with families. Members who sign that blank check we hear about, and worry about. A check for their lives. Men and Women who love, and are willing to die for their country, their names to be forgotten.
We do not lead glorious lives. The only luxury we hold is falling in love again when he comes home. If. And Re-integration isn't easy. Who will defend what our servicemembers earn? If not the American Government, who?
Me, that's who.
How about you?
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